According to sports reporter Darren Rovell on Twitter, Joseph Deen has been signed to Team 33, with whom he has been training since he was six. As part of his contract, he has allegedly received a $5,000 (£3,712.67) gaming setup, and a signing bonus of $33,000 (£24,503.66).
JUST IN: Pro esports team, Team 33, has signed 8-year-old Joseph Deen to a $33,000 signing bonus. Joseph has been training with the team’s Fortnite group since he was six. pic.twitter.com/nv1AgY1N1j
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) December 3, 2020
“We are beyond excited to have Joseph on our exclusive Team 33 roster,” Team 33 co-founder Tyler Gallagher told Cision. “We have secretly been scouting talent for our roster and games over the last few years and are proud to officially sign Joseph.”
He added: “We made it a point to train him over the past few years because young gamers are the future, and we want to start training them early.”
Team 33 have sparked controversy with the decision, as the age of their organization, as well as the age of Deen, has been under scrutiny.
Reminder that esports is extremely not good. pic.twitter.com/A5niCRaKWK
— Cody Conners (@evoli) December 3, 2020
The company signed Deen in their Los Angeles facility, after forming officially on November 10. Their website states that they are still looking for applications to expand their international team.
As players need to be 13 to compete in Fortnite’s official tournaments, it is currently unclear how Deen will be able to enter. However, Esports attorney, Ryan Fairchild pointed out on Twitter that there are loopholes that could be used.
— Ryan Fairchild (@FairPlayEsports) December 3, 2020
Meanwhile, in other Fortnite news, a mysterious unfinished skin appears to have been left behind inside the files for Season Five.